Tuesday, March 29, 2005
When you get to Hell, tell ‘em Scratchy sent you!
I couldn't decide whether to comment on Oklahomo legislators and their delightful flaunting of stereotypes about people from their fine state, in their desire to try to remove the awesome book King and King from all the children's areas in all the libraries in the entire state. Because we all know, the problem with kids in Oklahoma is that they READ TOO MANY BOOKS!
Or perhaps, I thought, I might comment on Jesse Jackson, Ralph Nader, and Nat Hentoff, among others, splashing down firmly against the doctors and husband of Terri Schiavo, as well as the U.S. legal system, and trying to stick that damn tube back up her. Funny how all the self-promoting moralizing egotists seem to show up in the same place!
But instead I decided to briefly comment on this story which, once again, should shame all of us who voted for George W. Bush. And by "us" I mean not me. This is a case of "let's try to kill the brown guy before he finds out he's entitled to get help from people who don't want us to kill him!" Basically, the U.S. has continuously been sentencing foreign nationals (often Mexicans) without informing the defendants that they have the right to inform their county's embassy that they're in trouble. Even though we signed an international treaty which gave them that right. One dude got his case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday.
The sick, Bush part of the story?
The case, which has attracted worldwide attention, is seen as a test of how much weight the Supreme Court will give in domestic death penalty cases to the International Court of Justice, or ICJ, in The Hague, which ruled last year that the 51 convictions violated the Vienna Convention.
After Medellin appealed to the Supreme Court, Bush ordered the states to comply with the ICJ ruling. At the same time, however, he made clear that it was a president's - not the judicial branch's - decision whether to abide by international law.
The administration also announced it was withdrawing from a section of the Vienna Convention that gave the ICJ authority to hear U.S. disputes, to avoid future questions about the role of international tribunals in domestic death penalty cases.
After Bush ordered the new hearings, Medellin's attorneys asked the Supreme Court this month to put his case on hold so they could pursue relief in state court first. But the justices did not immediately act on that request.
(Texas, by the way, is all like "naw, we're still gonna kill the brown guy.") You know what? I call bullshit. The administration decides once again to just say "fuck you" to the international community, just so we can continue our "culture of life until we feel like killing you." This despite the fact that the ICJ was involved with the freeing of the U.S. hostages in Iran back in the day. I'm seriously thinking of adding death penalty reform as a MUST on the progressive platform we're all creating...